113-132. Jurisdiction of fisheries agencies.

(a) The Marine Fisheries Commission has jurisdiction over the conservation of marine and estuarine resources. Except as may be otherwise provided by law, it has jurisdiction over all activities connected with the conservation and regulation of marine and estuarine resources, including the regulation of aquaculture facilities as defined in G.S. 106-758 which cultivate or rear marine and estuarine resources.

(b) The Wildlife Resources Commission has jurisdiction over the conservation of wildlife resources. Except as may be otherwise provided by law, it has jurisdiction over all activities connected with the conservation and regulation of wildlife resources.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, this Subchapter does not give the Marine Fisheries Commission or the Wildlife Resources Commission jurisdiction over matters clearly within the jurisdiction vested in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the North Carolina Pesticide Board, the Commission for Public Health, the Environmental Management Commission, or other division of the Department regulating air or water pollution.

(d) To the extent that the grant of jurisdiction to the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission may overlap, the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission are granted concurrent jurisdiction. In cases of conflict between actions taken or regulations promulgated by either agency, as respects the activities of the other, pursuant to the dominant purpose of such jurisdiction, the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission are empowered to make agreements concerning the harmonious settlement of such conflict in the best interests of the conservation of the marine and estuarine and wildlife resources of the State. In the event the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission cannot agree, the Governor is empowered to resolve the differences.

(e) Those coastal fishing waters in which are found a significant number of freshwater fish, as agreed upon by the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission, may be denominated joint fishing waters. These waters are deemed coastal fishing waters from the standpoint of laws and regulations administered by the Department and are deemed inland fishing waters from the standpoint of laws and regulations administered by the Wildlife Resources Commission. The Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission may make joint regulations governing the responsibilities of each agency and modifying the applicability of licensing and other regulatory provisions as may be necessary for rational and compatible management of the marine and estuarine and wildlife resources in joint fishing waters.

(f) The granting of jurisdiction in this section pertains to the power of agencies to enact regulations and ordinances. Nothing in this section or in G.S. 113-138 is designed to prohibit law-enforcement officers who would otherwise have jurisdiction from making arrests or in any manner enforcing the provisions of this Subchapter. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; c. 1262, ss. 18, 28, 38; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1987, c. 641, s. 5; 1989, c. 281, s. 3; 1997-261, s. 109; 2007-182, s. 2.)